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George H. Williams

Records / Singles

Since I’ve Been Loving You Led Zeppelin

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of LED ZEPPELIN III which I have owned since about 1983 or 1984. I got a bunch of Led Zeppelin albums when I was in high school from the Columbia Record and Tape Club and this song has always been one of my favorites on this album. The song was written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant.

I’ve always loved this song, but for me it will also be remembered because, when Persephone was little, I used to sit with her almost every night and rock her to sleep in our apartment in Boise while this song played on our stereo. It’s a perfect dark nighttime songs. Like most Led Zeppelin songs, it sounds like it was recorded in the middle of the night. It’s also early enough in Led Zeppelin’s career that the song on the album could easily be recreated on stage with the exact same instrumentation. It’s just Page, Paul, Plant, and Bonham. No helpers playing bass or an extra guitar part. John Paul Jones does play the organ, but he’s also playing the bass line on the organ pedals. Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on this song is often on lists of the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time.

Happy anniversary Led Zeppelin III.

2020.10.05

Giddyup Do-nut - Don Bowman

I first encountered this song on the November 18, 2007, episode of The Doctor Demento Show which you can stream at his website for $3.00. The song was written by Don Bowman, Noel Confer, Red Sovine, and Tommy Hill and it’s a parody of “Giddy Up Go” by Red Sovine.

I first heard this song when my family and I lived in a mobile home outside of Moscow, Idaho. I had recorded this episode of The Doctor Demento Show from an online radio station and I had it running in the background while I was doing some work and my wife came in and started talking to me and she said something along the lines of “What the hell is this?” The song tells the story of a loser that wins a doughnut truck in a poker game and generally makes fun of Red Sovine’s song “Giddy Up Go” but twists a lot of the expectations that anyone who has listened to a Red Sovine song would have. The phrase “Yippee. Big deal” has become a byword in our house for I know you’re excited about this but I really don’t give a shit. I love this song because it’s just totally silly. It is an outstanding parody of the country truck-driving songs that Red Sovine made popular in the 1960s and 1970s.

Don Bowman was the 1960s-1970s country music equivalent of “Weird” Al Yankovic. He recorded several singles and 11 albums of goofy country music songs and he worked as a DJ in Branson, Missouri. Unfortunately, though, Bowman’s life didn’t end well. In 2001 he attempted to commit suicide and the suicide attempt left him paralyzed. He then ended up spending the last 12 years of his life in a nursing home until he died of cancer.

Don Bowman has a few albums available on Spotify and is well worth seeking out.

2020.09.30

He Knows My Key (Is Always In the Mailbox) - Vivian Copeland

I first encountered this song on Spotify on an album called UNDERGROUND OLDIES: VOLUME III which is, unfortunately, no longer on Spotify. You can find the song, however, on YouTube. The song is credited to Ray Dahrouge and Billy Terrell and was released as a single on D’Oro records.

I first heard this song while I was making dinner one night. I had Spotify on the computer running through a set of speakers in the kitchen when I was washing some dishes and the song caught my attention. It starts with a good horn part - which I always enjoy. Then as I listened to the lyrics, about a woman who has a boyfriend that “takes all my love for granted” but she “can’t help it if I love him like I do” so she makes sure that her key is always waiting for him in the mailbox so he can let himself in at night whenever he feels like it. He treats her like crap, but she feels “someday he’ll want to settle down.” So, the tale the song is telling is kind of horrible - about a woman who doesn’t have enough self-respect to ditch this asshole, but I really love this song. All of the recordings I’ve heard by Vivian Copeland have horn parts that sound so much like the Memphis Horns that I wouldn’t be surprised if her backing band was the horn section on her recordings.

Vivian Copeland also recorded some other songs for D’Oro like “Chaos (In My Heart),” “Oh No Not My Baby,” and “I Don’t Care” as well as “I don’t Care What He’s Done (In The Past)” for Mala Records. I don’t know much about her, but all of these records seem to have been released between 1966 and 1971.

Vivian Copeland will be an artist I look for whenever I go to used record stores from now on.

2020.05.07